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Chromatography Applications in Agriculture

July 21,2020

Food and agriculture labs regularly use various chromatography methods to analyze the safety and purity of goods. Agricultural and food companies typically have their own food labs or use a third-party lab to test their products. If the FDA and USDA didn’t require companies to test and report their products, companies and farms would be less inclined to produce high-quality goods. Our experts breakdown the chromatography applications in agriculture in the guide below. Read on to learn more.

Food nutrition and purity

To reiterate, companies must prove the integrity of their food products by having labs analyze the good. Lab technicians regularly use gas chromatography (GC) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to analyze the food among other analytical instruments. These experts analyze the food for items such as proteins, vitamins, amino acids, fats, additives, and preservatives. Proper food analysis allows individuals to consume goods with peace of mind that their food is in fact safe.

Soil, fertilizer, and chemical testing

While labs spend significant amounts of time testing the food itself, they also analyze the environment where the food is grown. Scientists frequently test a farm’s soil to determine the soil’s quality. In addition to quality, however, labs can identify additional factors in the soil such as fertilizers and potentially harmful chemicals like pesticides. By testing various samples of a farm's soil, labs can confirm or deny if an organic farm is in fact using organic soil practices. Although some farmers may believe they’re using safe fertilizers, an agricultural chromatography can uncover the truth that’s within the soil. Through GC or HPLC methods, laboratories ultimately help farms make better decisions that keep their crops safe up until harvest.

The applications of chromatography in agriculture can stretch from analyzing nutrition to the grass that goes into grass-fed beef. Additionally, labs regularly use GC and HPLC when analyzing plant-based foods to ensure no animal-based products were included.

Whether your lab only handles agricultural goods or it’s merely one of the many departments in the lab, you need reliable analytical instruments. GenTech Scientific believes no lab is complete without gas chromatography, high-performance liquid chromatography, or mass spectrometry machines, but we understand these machines can be expensive. We believe labs do meaningful work and they shouldn’t have to break the bank for the tools they need – that’s why we sell machines that are refurbished by industry experts, whether you’re searching for used GC equipment, mass spectrometers, parts, or equipment service. Contact our team today if you have questions, would like information on our financing options, or if you’re ready to request a quote.